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NEWS | May 4, 2023

First of its Kind Submarine Visit Forges Relationship

By Lt. Eric Uhden, Commander, Submarine Squadron 15 Public Affairs

Senior leaders from the navies of Japan, South Korea and the United States visited Naval Base Guam to embark a U.S. Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine operating off Guam, April 18.

U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Rick Seif, commander, Submarine Group 7/Task Force 74, was joined on USS Maine (SSBN 741) by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Vice Adm. Tateki Tawara, commander, Fleet Submarine Force, and Rear Adm. Su Youl Lee, commander, Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy Submarine Force. During their time at sea, the senior leaders toured the sub, including demonstrations of the unit’s capabilities. The ballistic missile submarine operates globally under U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).

“This underway embark onboard USS Maine in Guam reflects our special relationship with Japan and the Republic of Korea, as well as our ironclad commitment to each alliance,” said Seif. “These submarines, which patrol continuously, provide a critical, stabilizing, and highly effective element of the U.S. nuclear deterrence force.”

This was the first trilateral embark onboard a ballistic missile submarine involving senior commanders of the submarine fleets of the three nations.

“This tour facilitated our understanding of a U.S. strategic operational asset,” said Tawara. “I am convinced that the deepening of mutual understanding among the commanders of the three nation’s submarine forces through such visits will strengthen the alliance with the United States.”

“This year marks the 70th anniversary of the ROK-U.S. alliance, which remains the linchpin of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. As such, this visit was an opportunity to reaffirm the security commitment and capabilities that the U.S. provides to the ROK.” said Lee.

The embark was an example of how U.S. forces are advancing the U.S-Japan-ROK trilateral relationship that is forward-leaning, reflective of shared values, and resolute against threats that challenge regional stability.

USSTRATCOM forces are on watch 24/7 globally, operating in all domains, while supporting other commands, to defend the nation and our allies.

Maine is the 16th Ohio-class of ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), and the third U.S. Navy ship to bear the name.

Maine was commissioned on July 29, 1995 at Kittery, Maine.

Maine is one of eight ballistic-missile submarines stationed at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Washington, and is capable of carrying up to 20 submarine-launched ballistic missiles with multiple warheads.


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